In an article, What Is Emotional Intelligence?: Definitions, History, and Measures of Emotional Intelligence, by Kendra Cherry, she provides a brief history of emotional intelligence:
- 1930s – Edward Thorndike describes the concept of "social intelligence" as the ability to get along with other people.
- 1940s – David Wechsler suggests that affective components of intelligence may be essential to success in life.
- 1950s – Humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow describe how people can build emotional strength.
- 1975 - Howard Gardner publishes The Shattered Mind, which introduces the concept of multiple intelligences.
- 1985 - Wayne Payne introduces the term emotional intelligence in his doctoral dissertation entitled "A study of emotion: developing emotional intelligence; self-integration; relating to fear, pain and desire (theory, structure of reality, problem-solving, contraction/expansion, tuning in/coming out/letting go)."
- 1987 – In an article published in Mensa Magazine, Keith Beasley uses the term "emotional quotient." It has been suggested that this is the first published use of the term, although Reuven Bar-On claims to have used the term in an unpublished version of his graduate thesis.
- 1990 – Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer publish their landmark article, "Emotional Intelligence," in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.
- 1995 - The concept of emotional intelligence is popularized after publication of psychologist and New York Times science writer Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
While the concept of emotional intelligence has been around for a while, recently, it has been a hot topic in talent management and training. In a white paper, I highlight a few companies who have put emotional intelligence training into use and who have experienced very positive gains.
One is Sanofi Aventis:
“Sanofi-Aventis is a world’s leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in France. The company has a presence in more than 100 countries and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. In July 2005, Sanofi-Aventis in Australia partnered with emotional intelligence consulting firm Genos to improve the emotional intelligence levels of its pharmaceutical sales representatives. Sanofi-Aventis and Genos developed a six-month study to determine whether pharmaceutical sales representatives’ performance could be improved through emotional intelligence training.
To assess whether emotional intelligence could be improved through training, sales representatives selected for the study were divided into two groups, a control group and a development group. Employees from both groups participated in an emotional intelligence assessment to determine a benchmark, but only members of the development group participated in the subsequent emotional intelligence training.
Over the next six months, sales representatives in the development group participated in workshops and coaching sessions on emotional intelligence. After three months, the development group’s sales results were compared with that of the control group’s sales results over the same period. Sanofi-Aventis found that the development group’s sales were 7 percent higher than the control group’s sales. As the emotional intelligence program continued, Sanofi-Aventis found that the development group’s sales grew to 12 percent more than the control group’s sales.”
With proof of emotional intelligence training’s benefits growing, it is sure to remain a hot topic for years to come. Does your company gauge employees’ emotional intelligence? Do you do training for emotional intelligence?